Family Tree - DNA Latta Project

A One Surname Search

(Issue 34, Spring 2008)


Our DNA Test Results can be found at:


By: Kathy Latta, Branch 16 Captain

In 2004 Family Tree - DNA started receiving samples from various people and other interested individuals not connected with any of the many Branches at the Latta Genealogy Society. At this printing 20 people from 14 Branches and 3 from those unconnected to any Branch (one from Germany) have had the pleasure of trying to decipher or figure out exactly what all the reports from FT-DNA really mean. I hope you find this report easy to understand and find meanings in the two Tables that I am presenting.

This repot consists of two tables. Table One is an abbreviated portrayal of the statistics gleaned from FT-DNA and Table Two a copy off of FT-DNA showing the distribution of the Y-alleles that make up the actual markers. Unfortunately the table can only be reproduced for our newsletter in black and white. At the bottom of the Table is a range from -10 (in blue) to +10 (in red), it is these values that comprise the total that appears in Table One, under the column Genetic Distance. For those of you who like to color, one color will do, make a copy of this page and go down each Marker column and color in only those who differ from the "Mean". As well, you will notice on this Table that after the 25th Marker all the Minimum and Maximum values seem to have shifted over a couple of rows. I assume there are not enough participants at those levels to make average comparisons.

As well I am including a four page introduction to a "One Surname DNA Project" written by Peter Staveley of the Edmonton Branch of the Alberta =Genealogy Society. He had written this article and it appeared in our local Genealogy News Magazine "Relatively Speaking" (Volume 36, Number 1, pg. 21-24). Peter very kindly gave his permission to reprint the entire article as it stands. Peter just wanted me to note the single discrepancy, that being he is only a 6X great and not a 10X great. Permission was also given by John Hazelwood whose DNA information was used as an example in the article. Thank you Peter and John.

Once Peter's report is read it is easier to understand that not a lot can be written on the 12 Marker Level. However besides indicating a relatedness, one can visually look at Table One and Table Two and draw some conclusions. One thing that this level of study does is to separate the wheat from the chaff. You quickly get a sense of who is close and those who are not close.

I have assigned Alpha Characters paired with Branch Numbers to give some level of anonymity, and also to make the Table easier to read. One individual has asked not to be published and must be respected. From the most part the study is being done to see how the different Branches compare, and so displaying a Branch Number instead of surnames makes sense.

In comparing the different submissions I have bracketed those from the British Mainland (), those with an unknown origin appear with an asterisk *, and those with Irish roots I left unmarked.

Historically communication while settling this continent was a big contributor to the loss of familial ties. Over time warfare and other harsh living conditions leads us to a point where there are gaps in our knowledge base and the addition of DNA to genealogy will be a boon to our society.

When looking at the 12 Marker Level on the Table the same three individuals show little relatedness. One in particular shows no matching DNA. When there is evidence such as this, one has to conclude that the name "Latta" has been acquired by adoption; whether a person has been adopted or the name has been adopted. For this reason it does not hurt to have more than one DNA donor from the same lineage (Branch). Another instance of adoption is where orphaned children from a female line might be adopted by a brother; this would be considered family but still not have the Y chromosome from the "Latta" Lines.

There are some Afro-American Lattas. Some may share Latta genes, while others may have simply adopted the name by association with a plantation. So in all there may be Branches where it would serve to have different lines within the Branch provide a DNA sample. Where these discrepancies occur these individuals might find it helpful to conduct an unrestricted name search at the FT-DNA site.

The information at the 25 Marker Level is a subset of those individuals who did a 37 to 67 Marker Test. It demonstrates changes in reporting as you go from a 25 to a 37 or higher Marker clarifying and narrowing down the number of generations to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). As there are no individuals that did only a 25 Marker Test, my reporting will be at the 37 Marker Level and on Table One I have not included Branch Numbers for 12 or 25 Marker Levels.

There are out of 20 people in the project, 8 that share a relatedness at the 37 Marker Level to an MRCA between 6 and 9 generations. They are G13 (R13), M1 (J1), H9, N30, S8, 122. G13 and M1 shared a MRCA at 6 generations. M1 was kind enough to inform me that they have documentation for 7 generations and this places the MRCA in a known category. That is to say that the MRCA is someone already documented in the Branch 1 and 13 files.

Relating at 9 generations to MRCA at the 37 Marker Level are H9, N30, S8, and 122. H9 has documentation for 7 generations while 122 has documentation for 6. At this time I will point out that I have reported the statistics at the 90% Level of Probability. Lowering the level serves to bring down the MRCA (generations decrease). We know that James M. Latta Sr. is listed in Branches 1, 8, and 9. I believe that the DNA results confirms these branches are related and we just need to brush up the paperwork and bring together the next generation which includes 122 and N30. At 18 generations B* and P49 also tie in with theses Branches.

For the most part, Table One goes through each individual and compares them to all other submitters. It may look like a lot of repetition but there are variations even at the 12 Marker Level. Combine the information with Table Two and odd tidbits can be gleaned. For instance, after coloring Table Two one can see that F*4 and T* show similar changes in alleles (the chemical base units that make up the Markers ). Considering that T* is unconnected to any branch and does not know their ancestral origin, showing a close relationship to D17 and F*4 on Table One is extremely promising.

On the other hand, what you do not see is just as important. Here I am referring to those individuals who do not show any changes in alleles. Six at the 12 Marker Level, one at the 37 Marker Level and G13 on the 67 Marker Level does not show any changes until the 54th Marker. I thought this was surprising and gave something to think about. It is something to consider when ordering Marker Levels.

On the subject of Haplo Types which indicate Deep Ancestral Origins, in the group of 20 submitters, only one E*6 had requested their Haplo Type be tested. All others were assigned by their similarities to others in the DNA Data Bank at FT-DNA. Rla shows an Eastern European origin, wile Rib is from Western Europe. These groups represent some very ancient lineages while more recent branches on the Phylogenetic Tree are Rlbl and Rlblc. Bear in mind that these were assigned. S8 is listed as Rlbl and G13, M1, 122 and H9 are listed as Rlb. So unless we get some testing done, this area of discussion will remain vague.

So far five submitters have not been mentioned in this report; A 16, C 16, Q* 31, O 51, and L 3. All but A16 tested at the 12 Marker Level and all were exactly alike with no changes in alleles. Changes in alleles can take place so it would be nice to see these upgrade to the 37 Marker Level.

Last but not least, A 16, is my branch. I feel like the last kid off the bus. I went in feeling like my branch would tie in H9, S8, and M1 but that was not to be! We connect but much further back than I had anticipated. For all those with British Isle or Irish roots, the TRAILS project seems like a good way to proceed in order to connect. It could take place within two to four generations. Can we do it?


Robert Hawkins, Branch 22 Captain manages the FT site and Kathy Latta is assisting and typing.


Bob Hawkins, Branch 22 Captain

You can e-mail me, or write me at 620 Hickory Knoll Ct., Baldwin, MO 63021.